Parents' Guide to

The Jesus Rolls

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Uncomfortable Lebowski spin-off is full of sex, swearing.

Movie R 2020 85 minutes
The Jesus Rolls Poster Image

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This baffling, unfunny total misfire of a movie feels like an embarrassing, uncomfortable dream. The Jesus Rolls feels like something your subconscious might produce after watching The Big Lebowski and eating a large pizza just before going to bed. Writer/director/star Turturro understandably wanted to revisit his Jesus Quintana character, the bowler who stole a few small scenes in Joel and Ethan Coen's 1998 classic. But what isn't understandable is why Turturro decided to tell Jesus' story in the form of a remake of Bertrand Blier's Going Places, a 1974 French movie very much of its time about hippies, unrestrained sex, boredom, and crime. Aside from the "what were they thinking?" factor, the movie trudges along without much of a pace -- or a point.

Astonishingly, Turturro assembled a great cast for this dud, including Christopher Walken, J.B. Smoove, Tim Blake Nelson, Sonia Braga, and Michael Badalucco. But the movie's crime elements are without suspense or moral compass. At one point, a doctor fixes Petey's leg -- and then, before departing, Jesus steals the doctor's cash; the scene has a hazy, detached quality. The pre-AIDS themes of sexual freedom -- and especially themes of women needing men to bring them to ecstasy -- seem positively prehistoric in the #MeToo era. A wandering, searching movie about today might have been interesting, but The Jesus Rolls remains stuck in both the 1970s and the 1990s without much of a clue.

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